Estella Edna Burlingame Kjesbu


Estella Edna Burlingame Kjesbu, 93, of Montesano, died Saturday, December 29, 2012, at Montesano Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was born July 25, 1919, to George D. and Edna (Vaughn) Burlingame in Adna, Washington. She graduated with honors from Moclips High School in 1937 and attended Multnomah School of the Bible.

She married L. O. “Crane” Kjesbu on November 29, 1942, in Satsop, Washington.

Her survivors include her children, Carol (William) McDougall, William (Sue) Kjesbu, and Miriam Smith; grandchildren, Scott, Kelly, and Molly McDougall, Lisa Kloempken, Jody Wills, and Brian Kjesbu, Jessica Besso, and Monica and Anika Smith; and great-grandchildren, Zakary McDougall, Kasie and Nathan Kloempken, Benjamin, Joshua, and Emily Wills, Kole and Kale Kjesbu, and Jeremiah and Josiah Besso; her brother, Vaughn Burlingame; and her sister-in-law and life-long friend, Susan Scott. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, L. O. Kjesbu; her siblings: Lewis, Everett, and George Burlingame; her sister, Josie Davis; her great-grandson, Erik McDougall; and son-in-law, James R. Smith.

Estella loved God, family, and friends exuberantly. Her life exemplified loving others, serving with grace, working diligently, and playing with enthusiasm.

Her love for God and for her husband of 50 years, Crane, spilled over into everything she did. Estella greeted all guests entering or leaving her house with a hug, and messages to her grandchildren always began with “This is your ever-loving grandmother.”

She served as a church pianist for nearly seventy years, taught Sunday school, and led Bible studies that changed many lives. She loved witnessing, leading others to the Lord, and watching them grow and develop their faith.

Encouraging her children and others to read, learn, and take advantage of opportunities highlights her gift of living life fully. Estella worked at W. H. Abel Memorial Library from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Her love of reading enhanced the work she did there, and she especially enjoyed meeting friends at the library’s bookmobile stops at rural homes and businesses. In addition to working at the library, she worked at her home, making compost, planting a garden, picking blackberries, and canning applesauce, in preparation for winter storage. Her grandchildren still treasure memories of the gifts that started on her sewing machine: snugglers, floor pillows, sweatshirts, and jogging suits.

Always known for her gracious demeanor, Estella also competed fiercely in games of crosswords, Scrabble, tennis, and backyard baseball. Small children of the family were encouraged to play with the family using modified rules, and they knew they had attained big kid status when they were subject to the real rules. She taught life lessons regarding fairness, perseverance, and losing gracefully as she played games with friends and family.

Estella provided a Godly example of loving service to her Savior, her family, and her friends.

A graveside service will be held at Wynooche Cemetery in Montesano at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2013. A memorial service will be held at Montesano Presbyterian Church at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2013.

Gifts can be made to the Montesano Presbyterian Church Missions Fund in her memory, if desired.